Many people go into their own business looking to change their lifestyle, work less and make their own decisions. It’s fair to say that the majority struggle with this concept, ending up working long hours, for less income – and more stress.

In the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Small Business Report, a full one third of all small business owners said they did it for the lifestyle.

The problem with ditching your 9-5 and moving on, is that you invariably end up losing the majority of your business contacts. It is often then that you start to realise the importance of bouncing ideas off other people. The majority of NZ businesses – some 97% – have fewer than 10 employees – leaving you wearing every hat in the business. The Sales manager, the Service manager, the Marketing Manager, the Administration Manager and so on. Too many hats for one person. That is when having a network of good people around you is incredibly important.

The good oil is that there are people out there that can help you… here are four ways to tap into the networks that can help you build a successful small business in New Zealand.

1. Your professional associates are part of your network

There is more than one type of business network. Your Business Advisor, your lawyer, your banker, your Accountant are all part of your network, even if you do not currently use them effectively for networking. Make sure you get your money’s worth out of these professionals.

2. Join business networking groups

Finding the right network, and having the time to justify this, is never easy.  Talk to a Business Advisor at Prime Strategies Group for advice on how to do this better. Personal connections are worth investing in.

3. Invest in your future business: Investigate a Business Advisor

Business Advisors / Business Management Mentors essentially create a one-on-one process with you, that will work for your business. They have experience in business and are willing to share that expertise with you in face-to-face consultant meetings. There’s a cost involved, of course, but it is an investment in your future, and at Prime Strategies we aim to deliver more profit than our fees cost so that your Business Advisor is an asset to you, and your business.

Prime Strategies Group run a number of popular programmes designed to help you get better at actually running your business – something that tends to be overlooked in the day to day hustle of running a business.

4. Social networking: Good or bad for business?

The likes of Facebook and Twitter offer many opportunities to engage with other business owners and potential Clients. Take care though, as some of these channels are not the right platform for particular business types – seek direction from your Business Advisor here. LinkedIn is more career and business oriented – but not necessarily the place for advertising your wares. Once again, seek advice as to the best online channels for you and your business.

It’s key to know which ones are important, have a written strategy, and to be ready to invest some time to get results.